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01/02/2018 09:00
SASTAMALA and Arkas vie for home wins to stay alive in race for Playoffs
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, February 1, 2018. Two matches hosted by Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA and Arkas IZMIR complete the programme of the fourth round of action in the group stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men. The rookies from Finland as well as the Turkish team will be trying to make amends for the losses they suffered two weeks ago and to use the home-court advantage in order to edge pre-favourite Halkbank ANKARA and TRENTINO Diatec in Pool B and E, respectively. It is going to be another exciting night as the race for a spot in the Playoffs is heating up with only two more legs before completion of the League Round.

Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA (FIN) vs. Halkbank ANKARA (TUR)

•    Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA will host Halkbank ANKARA this time in Turku, at the brand new Kupittaa hall. This will be the first ever European Cups match held at this venue.
•    Halkbank ANKARA and Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA currently sit in second and third place, respectively after three rounds of action in Pool B. Two weeks ago, Halkbank recorded a 3-0 victory at home over the Finns. Fernando Hernandez Ramos was the best scorer for Halkbank with 24 points and Urpo Sivula achieved the same feat for Finns with nine points.
•    This is SASTAMALA’s current record in European competitions so far:
o    Matches played: 41 (23 home, 18 away)
o    Home matches: 19 wins, 4 losses
o    Away matches: 8 wins, 10 losses
•    The setter of Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA Mikko Esko will meet his old team, as he played for Halkbank ANKARA in the 2014-2015 season. There is still Faik Samed Günes, Burutay Subasi, Emre Batur and Abdullah Cam left from that team.
•    Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA have gathered a large audience in their previous two matches with 2,600 and 2,450 fans attending their home matches at Hämeenlinna and Vantaa. Now the club is expecting even more people to attend their fixture in Turku.
•    While SASTAMALA are playing their first season in the CEV Volleyball Champions League, Halkbank ANKARA have been a part of that since 2013-2014 and they are playing now for the fifth straight season in this league, with their best result to date being a silver medal they claimed in 2014.  

Sami Kurttila, head coach of Ford Store Levoranta: “The deciding factor in the previous match is that we lost in attack and we need to perform much better in that element of the game this time. On top of this, we need to find a way to stop their opposite hitter. The team has been preparing very well, even though we have contested only one game here in Finland in the last two weeks. This is a great opportunity to show European top Volleyball in Turku and the surrounding area in such a great venue.”

Arkas IZMIR (TUR) vs. TRENTINO Diatec (ITA)

•    This matchup brings father and son together but they will be standing on opposite sides of the net. The Canadian head coach of Arkas IZMIR, Glenn Hoag will be rivalling his eldest son Nicholas Hoag, who plays for TRENTINO Diatec this season.
•    Mert Matic, who has been away from the court for a while and could not play in the first game in Italy due to a finger injury, will take his place back for the re-match at home.
•    In what is their seventh participation in the CEV Champions League, Arkas IZMIR will contest their 95th European Cups match. The Turkish team has a record of 53 wins in 94 matches this far.
•    Arkas IZMIR, who could not manage to top their rivals in Pool E so far, have pinned their hopes of advancing to the next round on a victory against TRENTINO Diatec. The Turkish team, which wishes to use the advantage of the support coming from their fans, has hanged posters around the city, inviting the people of Izmir to Vestel Venus Atatürk Volleyball Hall.

Glenn Hoag, head coach of Arkas IZMIR: “This match is of crucial importance for us; we must score no matter what. We mathematically still stand a chance to advance to the next round. Considering that the next one will be a home game, we must succeed against TRENTINO Diatec.”

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News nr. 57 of 117
01/02/2018 19:15:00
TRENTINO Diatec motivated to top pool E at the end of 4th Round, Halkbank ANKARA looking confident towards #CLVolleyM Playoffs
31/01/2018 22:42:00
Lokomotiv, Zenit, PERUGIA and ‘Häfler’ through to Playoffs 12 after fourth straight win

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